For many real estate agents, the 2008 housing crash was a disaster. Yet even in the darkest days, there were still corners of our industry that found a way to thrive. Distressed sales, for instance, made up almost a third of all real estate transactions in 2009, with real estate owned properties taking the biggest chunk of that market. And that was good news for Steve Jolly.
If they’re just starting to [think about] where they want live…I’m not taking them to show them listings. I’m trying take them to…areas of town so they can see where they want to live first.
— STEVE JOLLY
A former home improvement contractor with a background in selling to businesses, Steve realized in 2005 that the REO market was a strong fit for his experience. Over the next few years, Steve closed hundreds of deals. But as the market recovered, the REO market began to shrink. Today, distressed sales are at a nine-year low nationwide. Yet Steve’s business is still booming, and it’s all thanks to clever marketing.
“I’ve sold over the telephone in a lot of different industries, and one thing that I found out is that I always got burned out on the cold call,” Steve told us. “And so I wanted to find a different way to generate leads, and to convert them into clients that was more built on relationships, instead of annoying people.”
Steve developed a direct marketing strategy that’s helped him close dozens of REO sales every year. He’s even written a book: Kill Cold Calls. In it, he outlines his system for generating and converting quality leads through a thoughtful approach to content and contact. It all starts, Steve says, with tailoring your interactions to a prospect’s needs, from communication methods to follow-up actions.
Sometimes, that means taking it slow. “If they’re just starting to [think about] where they want live…I’m not taking them to show them listings,” Steve explained. “I’m trying take them to…areas of town so they can see where they want to live first.”
From there, Steve focuses on effective lead nurturing—something, he says, most agents either neglect or go about the wrong way. “[Agents are] just cold calling people over and over again, not trying to really build that relationship, but just trying to get the sale or the appointment,” Steve pointed out. Instead, agents should seek to build the trust and rapport consumers are looking for.
In this interview, Steve Jolly explains his system for using digital marketing tools and content to generate and convert more clients, including the five characteristics that separate a good lead from a bad one.